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Tony Cervone Named New PR Chief at GM

Rejoins Detroit maker at critical time.

by on May.19, 2014

GM PR vet Tony Cervone will return to the company as its new communications chief.

Tony Cervone will rejoin General Motors as the maker’s new director of global communications.

It marks a return to Detroit for the 51-year-old PR veteran who previously served as a senior communications executive at both GM and Chrysler before temporarily shifting to the aerospace industry. Cervone was, until last week, the head of communications for Volkswagen Group of America.

His decision to return to GM comes as the maker faces its biggest challenge since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, with a number of investigations underway probing its handling of defective ignition switches linked to 13 deaths.

Perspective!

“Tony brings an ideal mix of outside perspective and experience that complements a deep background in GM and today’s global auto industry,” said GM CEO Mary Barra, who personally made the decision to bring back Cervone. “I’ve worked with Tony in the past and he has my trust and respect. I know he’ll be another catalyst for change on our leadership team.”

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Shaking Up the PR World

Yes, Simon, you can come home again.

by on Jul.28, 2009

What keeps folks like Simon Sproule coming back to back-breaking auto PR jobs?

What keeps folks like Simon Sproule coming back to back-breaking auto PR jobs?

“You can’t go home again,” the author Thomas Wolfe wrote, in the book by the same title.  And usually, that seems to be true.  But not if you’re Simon Sproule.

In a relatively brief but meteoric career, the 40-year-old Brit went from a minor player in Ford’s global media relations machine to become the worldwide head of public relations for Nissan Motor Co., reporting directly to CEO Carlos Ghosn.  And then, late last year, Sproule shocked those who know him by announcing he’d be leaving the auto industry to join Microsoft as the tech giant’s new PR chief.

I have to admit, knowing him since he was a virtual child prodigy that I referred to as “Young Simon Sproule,” I didn’t really see him in the tech world.  Capable?  Absolutely.  But there’s something about the auto business that gets anyone connected with it, whether a worker bee, PR flack or media hack, hooked.  And so, I couldn’t even fake the slightest bit of surprise when the newly-married Sproule politely called me, this afternoon, to reveal that he was lured back by the siren call of Carlos Ghosn, and would be moving yet again, but this time to Paris.  Sproule will take on the newly-created position as head of PR for the Nissan/Renault Global Alliance.

Even the flaks trust us!

Even the flaks trust us!

“My heart is in the auto business,” he admitted from his office at Microsoft, noting that he’ll be back to work with Nissan/Renault on September 1st.

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